A New Kingdom – Revelation 12

God’s plan to have King Solomon’s descendants reign on the throne of David forever appeared to have come to a premature end.  In response to Solomon turning away from God to worship the foreign gods of his many wives, the Lord divided the kingdom.  After Solomon, there would be two nations instead of one – a Northern Kingdom of Israel and a Southern Kingdom of Judah.  Judah retained the Temple and the palace in Jerusalem and held the Messianic line of Judah, the lineage of King David and of the future Messiah, Jesus Christ.  Of the twelve original tribes that originated from Jacob’s sons, ten would now be split off to the Northern Kingdom.  Soon they, too, would turn away from the pure worship of God to devote themselves to idols, including even a golden calf from their Egyptian days of slavery.

But God is never surprised by man’s folly.  The Lord lives outside of the boundaries of time and space that restrict humankind and knows the end from the beginning.  His calling and design to have the twelve tribes of Israel birth the Kingdom of Heaven for the world and have its Messiah rule over it was never in doubt.  It will come to pass.

Seventy years after the ascension of Jesus, his last living apostle, John, had a vision of the end times that will happen before the return of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.  This series of visions is recorded in the Book of Revelation:

12 Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth. Revelation 12:1-2 NKJV

The twelve stars represent Israel.  The child, Jesus, was born to fulfill everything that God had in mind for Israel, a Shining Light to the nations to turn the hearts of the people to the one true God.

Long after the downward slide of Israel’s kings had begun, the prophet Isaiah foretold of a divine child, God Himself, who will be born to rule and reign upon David’s throne.

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder.  And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom… Isaiah 9:6-7 NKJV

The failures of mankind will never stop the loving plans of God.  He continues to reach out to each of us to save us and to bless us each day.  Many of us were lifted out of pits of despair and suffering to be placed on a high plain of love and restoration as God is rebuilding the foundations of our lives. His mercy and truth surround us and lift us up to give us a joy and a hope for today, tomorrow and eternity.

But even the Messiah was not immune from the attacks of the enemy.  For a season, He, His followers, and all of the descendants of the Twelve Stars were subjected to persecution and terror resulting from the enemy’s rebellion.

John continues his vision with a second sign from heaven and adds some insight into the battles that rage behind the scenes in the heavenly realms.

And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne.

And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.  Revelation 12:3-5, 7-9 NKJV

The devil and his demons, once angels of God, were thrown down from heaven after an unsuccessful rebellion against God.  They are a continual source of evil on earth and a tormentor of both Christian believers and the Jewish people, the descendants of the Twelve Stars.  Those of the kingdom of darkness know that God’s kingdom will one day be returned to Israel in the New Jerusalem, with Messiah Jesus reigning on David’s throne.  Those in active opposition to God, His kingdom and His people will not have an endless amount of time to inflict their evil, but those who do worship God and serve Him and His Messiah will rule and reign with Him forever.

Reflection

The book of Revelation tells us that the enemy of God deceives the whole world. 

What might some of these deceptions be? How have they negatively impacted history? Can you think of a lie that the evil one wants you to believe? Ask God to reveal to you His truth and all of the freedom and healing that comes with it.

In Genesis 37, Joseph had another dream with the sun, moon and eleven stars, which represented Joseph’s eleven brothers. It marked the beginning of the journey to Egypt for the twelve tribes of Israel. Joseph would save the family from famine there, thus preserving the regal line of Judah, the line of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

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